The New Mom Survival Checklist for the Terrible Twos (Five Tips)
The “terrible twos” are perhaps the most infamous period of time for new moms and babies. Temper tantrums are expected; however, the inability to deal with such stress can be absolutely overwhelming. Likewise, many new mothers have no idea what to do when their darlings simply won’t settle down.
First and foremost, take comfort in the fact that the tantrums will pass with time. That being said, it’s how you handle them now that will ultimately make life easier on yourself and ensure that your child is less prone to freakouts in the future.
Handling the terrible twos isn’t all about discipline, either. Sometimes the seemingly smallest changes can have a massive impact on your child’s mood.
So, if you’re a new mother that can’t seem to escape terrible toddler tantrums, where do you start?
Establish Bedtime Rituals
The source of many meltdowns can be traced back to the bedroom. Keeping your child comfortable is a two-way street. For starters, you need to make sure that your child starts sleeping in their own bed and is not attached to your hip. Likewise, it’s time to invest in some high quality kids furniture to ensure that naptime and bedtime go uninterrupted.
Beyond the comfort of your child, you also need to make sure that you have consistent bedtime rituals in terms of…
- What your child does and does not do before bedtime (try to avoid television or intense playtime, on the flip side try to read a story before lights out)
- Setting a strict timetable of when your child goes to bed (and likewise when they take naps)
- Removing any sort of bright lights or noise distractions that could interrupt their sleep
Outline and Reward Remarkable Behavior…
Sometimes speaking to your toddler about their behavior may feel akin to talking to a wall; however, it never hurts to outline what’s acceptable and what isn’t. This is especially important if you’re headed to a public place and want to avoid potential embarrassment. You need to be consistent in terms of praise and punishment alike: if your child has an exceptionally good day, they should be rewarded accordingly.
…But Be Firm with Bad Behavior
If your child has a meltdown because of something seemingly trivial (such as not getting what they want at a store or fussing over food), you absolutely must stay firm in your discipline strategy. Inconsistency sews the seeds of insubordination: while you may not enjoy playing the role of disciplinarian, it’s for your child’s own good.
Don’t Let Them Get Bored
Perhaps one of the easiest ways to avoid tantrums is by letting your child wear themselves out. Give them consistent opportunities to play outside, whether in the back yard or at a local park, and likewise don’t solely use electronics as a replacement for the great outdoors. Sometimes the best compliance from your child comes from the fact that they’re just plain worn out (think: naps and bedtime, especially).
Keep Your Cool
Finally, it pays to keep your cool regardless of how frustrated you may get with your child. After all, they don’t know any better and your patience will ultimately be rewarded once the terrible twos are behind you.
Remember: your toddler’s behavior won’t be like this forever. As long as you’re consistent with the aforementioned tips and put your best foot forward, you and your child will be just fine.